05/28/2013 10:40 EDT | Updated 07/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Kiteboarding ban lifted by Vancouver park board

Vancouver's park board has approved a special launch zone for kiteboarding at Spanish Banks.

On Monday night, the park board voted to end a summertime ban on the sport, allowing kiteboarders to launch from the beach all year round.

- More on the kiteboarding ban here

Philippe Cabanne owns Airtime Boardsports and has been kiteboarding for 15 years.

"English Bay is a beautiful spot with conditions that can be absolutely awesome," he said.

"We have the potential as a city here to become a great destination down the future when the sport will be even bigger than it is because believe me, it's here to stay. It's not going anywhere."

Kiteboarding's growing popularity has led Forbes magazine to call it "the new golf."

Kiteboarding is akin to windsurfing, except kiteboarders strap into a smaller board and use a large kite to harness the wind's power.

The Vancouver park board also permits windsurfing year-round at Locarno Beach in front of the Jericho Sailing Centre and between the yellow buoys at Kitsilano Beach.

Currently the most popular summer location for kiteboarding is the mouth of the Squamish River in Howe Sound, where the Squamish Windsports Society runs a special launching facility equipped with rescue crews on jet skis during the summer.